- Category: Diamond Multimedia XS71HDU 7.1 USB Audio Adapter
- Published on Monday, 08 September 2014 04:56
- Written by Super User
Today I will take a close look at the Diamond Multimedia XS71HDU which is a 24 bit 7.1channel digital audio adapter. It’s an external sound card that is powered and works off a single USB port on your computer. Many users use external sound cards because they don’t like their on-board audio, usually on a laptop or other portable device, because the manufacturers of portable devices usually allocate fewer resources towards on-board audio devices.
Removing the contents of the box:
A simple package includes the square audio card, a USB cable, an RCA cable, and drivers/DVD.
The top of the audio device has a big master volume knob, the device has a sturdy build (it took me 30mins to take it apart), and the volume knob is no exception. It feels solid.
Nothing is on the bottom except a little switch. It can switch between USB 1.1 mode (U1) or USB 2.0 mode (U2). It helps optimize the device for different USB protocols, as noise through the USB input can cause noise in the audio output.
The device features many ports, these are for surround sound, it’s also nice to see the RCA outputs so its easier to hook up to better speaker systems.
Standard outputs are also present which most users will use.
Here is the USB input; this is a standard micro USB port, so if something happens to your cable you can buy another one for less cost. Also optical S/PDIF ports are available.
This is a CMedia audio solution, which is common on Diamond Multimedia products. They offer great quality for a reasonable price. A CM6620 is the audio controller and the CM9882 is the codec (DAC/ADC) which features a 106dB SNR. The CM6620 is what connects to the USB on the computer, and it is spec is for USB 2.0 ports, so the USB mode selector switch on the bottom is for backwards compatibility with USB 1.0/1.1. The APA2306 is an amplifier for the headphone output. The cFeon EN39LV010 is a 1Mbit flash memory module for the controller. Audio controllers require memory access, and this means that this card needs its own memory since it’s not going to utilize the memory on the host computer.
The back of the card is simple and bare.
A standard CMedia software package is included.
It offers an equalizer as well as per channel support.
It also has ASIO support, a lot of built in cards don’t.
Results and Conclusion:
These results are very good for such a relatively cost effective audio device. What is also interesting is that there isn’t as much noise as would be expected from a USB sound device.
As you can see the results spell out excellent, but does that hold true in real life? The truth is that it does. The output sounds great on speakers and headphones, it even has a built-in headphone amplifier. CMedia always does a decent job with their products and the Diamond Multimedia XS71HDU is a great implementation of this CMedia package. I would definitely recommend this to family and friends as an alternative to their on-board audio solution.